US – Asahi, the Japanese brewing giant, has announced a strategic move to acquire Octopi Brewing, a major Midwest contract brewing powerhouse.  

This move signifies Asahi’s ambitious foray into North America, aiming to boost the global presence of its flagship product, Asahi Super Dry, by having it brewed on American soil for the first time. 

The acquisition, announced on January 5 by Asahi’s Europe & International division, is a key milestone in the company’s recent spree of international expansions over the past five years.  

Octopi Brewing, based in Waunakee, Wisconsin, will now become part of Asahi Beer USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Asahi Europe & International. As part of this venture, Asahi aims to produce approximately 700,000 cases (50,800 barrels) at Octopi, further solidifying its position in the American market. 

Octopi Brewing, ranked as the 13th largest U.S. craft brewer in 2022 by the Brewers Association, recorded significant growth during the early stages of the pandemic, with a remarkable 443% increase in production in 2020.  

Paolo Lanzarotti, CEO of Asahi Europe & International, expressed the long-standing ambition to achieve local production in North America, highlighting the mutual growth mindset and shared commitment to creating meaningful connections with partners and communities.  

The move signifies a shift in ownership for Octopi, known for its crucial role in contract brewing and co-packing in the U.S., catering to both large brands like Aldi and Trader Joe’s and smaller craft breweries. 

Isaac Showaki, founder and President of Octopi Brewing, will continue to lead the facility under Asahi’s ownership.  

As the integration process into Asahi Beer USA begins over the coming year, Octopi will focus on producing not only Asahi Super Dry and Kozel for the North American market but also a broader portfolio of brands for distribution and sale in Canada.  

Since its founding in 2015, Octopi has grown rapidly to meet the technical needs of diversified beverage brands. Today, Octopi’s volume is just 25% beer, with the rest made up of flavored malt beverages, functional drinks, and hard seltzers. 

Last year, Founder Isaac Showaki characterized Octopi as serving “medium-sized” players in the beverage industry, with a typical launch being a regional or nationally available beverage selling between 50,000 and 1 million cases per year.   

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